Background: The school-leaving GPA and the time since completion of secondary education are the major criteria for admission to German medical schools. However, the predictive value of the school-leaving grade and the admission delay have not been thoroughly examined since the amendment of the Medical Licensing Regulations and the introduction of reformed curricula in 2002. Detailed information on the prognosis of the different admission groups is also missing.Aim: To examine the predictive values of the school-leaving grade and the age at enrolment for academic performance and continuity throughout the reformed medical course.Methods: The study includes the central admission groups “GPA-best” and “delayed admission” as well as the primary and secondary local admission groups of three consecutive cohorts. The relationship between the criteria academic performance and continuity and the predictors school-leaving GPA, enrolment age, and admission group affiliation were examined up to the beginning of the final clerkship year.Results: The academic performance and the prolongation of the pre-clinical part of undergraduate training were significantly related to the school-leaving GPA. Conversely, the dropout rate was related to age at enrolment. The students of the GPA-best group and the primary local admission group performed best and had the lowest dropout rates. The students of the delayed admission group and secondary local admission group performed significantly worse. More than 20% of these students dropped out within the pre-clinical course, half of them due to poor academic performance. However, the academic performance of all of the admission groups was highly variable and only about 35% of the students of each group reached the final clerkship year within the regular time.Discussion: The school-leaving grade and age appear to have different prognostic implications for academic performance and continuity. Both factors have consequences for the delayed admission group. The academic prognosis of the secondary local admission group is as problematic as that of the delayed admission group. Additional admission instruments would be necessary, in order to recognise potentially able applicants independently of their school-leaving grade and to avoid the secondary admission procedure.
Issn1860-7446 (Print) 1860-3572 (Electronic)
JournaltitleGMS Zeitschrift für Medizinische Ausbildung